Tuesday, 27 March 2012

March 27th (Holborough marsh)

Another warm and sunny day 8:am-10:am.
Four Shelduck (4) Great Black-backed Gulls and (2) Oystercatchers were of note along the river.
In the scrape area (Southern Field) I saw (6) Lapwing (2) Gadwall (6) Mallard (2) Greylag (2) Snipe (1) Little Egret and (1) Curlew.I heard totals of (4) Cetti`s Warblers and (3) Water Rails and added LINNET (3) and BLACKCAP (1) to the months total,which now stands at (66).

One of three Green Woodpeckers seen this morning.

Monday, 26 March 2012

March 26th (Grove/Stodmarsh)

I spent a very pleasant morning at Grove Ferry/Stodmarsh in the warm sunshine in the company of Bob Bland,Derrick Jackson and Jeff wynn.We started at the Grove end and walked as far as the Marsh Hide,before retracing our steps.
We saw a total of (47) species,the most notable being Marsh Harrier (4) Common Buzzard (1) Sparrowhawk (2) Garganey (1) drake( Marsh Hide) Pinkfeet (10) Cetti`s Warbler (6) Bittern (1) and Water Rail (2).
Ten Pinkfeet flew over the Marsh Hide and appeared to go down in fields at the Stodmarsh end of the valley.
While we were in the Marsh Hide a Bittern was watched walking out in the open for a distance of at least one hundred metres,before it disappeared into a reedy ditch.
At least four Marsh Harriers were seen,including several in display flight.
While I was I photographing a Marsh Harrier the above Common Buzzard came into view.

Friday, 23 March 2012

March 23rd (Holborough marsh)

I went back this morning to try and find the Chiffchaff and possibly catch it.However after looking for over an hour I gave up and started walking back to the car.I had only gone about fifty yards though when I heard a Chiffchaff singing (normal song) and low and behold it had a ring on its leg.There way no way I could put up a net,so I took as many photo`s as possible.When I got back home I transferred them onto the PC and guess what,it looked like a normal Chiffchaff,but for that brown rump.I had to go back and try again.
Late afternoon I was back,I put up my small 20ft net where I had first seen it yesterday and only after about five minutes it was in the net,but was it the same bird?.In the hand the bird was a normal (c.Collibita) Greenish tinge to the upper parts and rump.After taking the ring details I took in hand photo`s and then released it.
Back home I transferred the photo`s and yes-----a brownish rump and upper-parts with no hint of green,so can the camera lie--YES.

I almost forgot the ring details,yes it was one of my birds,but a nice re trap.It was ringed at New Hythe in the east scrub as a juvenile on the 11 08 2010 and is now holding a territory at Holborough.

A true Siberian,tristis Chiffchaff can be seen on this Blog under March 2009.It was seen in the same spot where to days bird was trapped.

I heard my first Blackcap at Snodland this morning.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

March 22nd (Holborough marsh)

Clear and bright (8:am-9:30am)

This morning two Little Egrets were present,one on the scrape and the other along the river.The latter bird was in the company of (1) Curlew (2) Oystercatcher (6) Shelduck (2) Redshank (4) Herring Gulls and (22) B H Gulls.In the scrape area (Southern Field) Shoveler numbered (2) Gadwall (2) Teal (20) Mallard (10) Snipe (8) Grey Heron (2) Lapwing (6) Coot (6) Pheasant (12) and Moorhen (8).Eleven Canada Geese flew over from north to south and (2) Water Rails called from the reed bed along with a third bird from the dyke which runs partway round the Northern Field.Chiffchaffs numbered (4) in song and Cetti`s Warbler (3).

LITTLE GREBE was added to the months total when I heard one trilling whilst I was looking at the scrape in the Southern Field (64).Still no summer visitors apart from Chiffchaff.

I also saw an interesting (ringed) Chiffchaff (which is not one of mine).It looks as if it could be one of the Northern or Eastern type birds.The rump looks quite brown though,which is unusual in itself and it appears to show a slight wing bar on the greater coverts which Eastern birds have.
It may well be a bird that has wintered here.Northern birds in the spring which pass through Britain come through much later.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

March 21st (Holborough marsh)

Light overcast,but bright,still (8:am-9:30am (river low).

The main interest this morning was on the river,with (1) Curlew (3) Oystercatcher and (4) Common Sandpiper.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

March 20th (Holborough marsh)

A cloudy morning,which had cleared by the afternoon ((8:am-8:45)
Two birds were added to this months total.Two HOUSE SPARROWS which I saw on the southern boundary and a MED GULL which flew over SW (63).
All the regulars were seen or heard.Chiffchaffs numbered (4) Gadwall had increased to (8) on the scrape and Shelduck also numbered (8) along the river,where a Water Rail was watched feeding on the exposed mud.Four Redwing were present in the southern fields.

We still have up to six Reed Buntings and (8) Goldfinches coming into the garden.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

March 17th (Holborough marsh)

I managed one and a quarter hours (8:am-9:15am) at Holborough this morning before rain stopped play.Although it was only a short visit it proved to be well worth while.The most interesting find was a BRENT GOOSE (61) which I saw flying south along the river.However moments later in turned and headed back north,a direction more befitting a spring bird.In our area it is much more usual to see autumn birds sometimes in large flocks during the months of Oct and Nov,more so during the 1980s/1990s,when they pass over mainly in a southwesterly direction.I have only one other record of a spring bird,a lone bird which flew off in a northeasterly direction from Abbey Mead on March 25th 1976.

In the scrape area I saw (8) Snipe (4) Gadwall (25) Teal (15) Mallard (2) Shoveler (2) Greylags (10) Moorhen (6) Coot and (1) Grey Heron.In the arable field Pheasants numbered (11) and Lapwing (6).One STONECHAT possibly the same bird I saw a few days ago,although I believe more likely to be a different bird was also present.There must have been an overnight fall of Chiffs,because I saw or heard at least (6).Greenfinches at Holborough I am pleased to report are present in good numbers with many singing males in the area.Several small charms of Goldfinch are also still much in evidence.Four COMMON SANDPIPERS were present at the high tide roost.
A number of common birds which I am still missing this month which I would have expected at Holborough are Mistle Thrush,Little Grebe,Red-legged partridge,Sparrowhawk,Lesser Redpoll,Meadow Pipit and House Sparrow.

Friday, 16 March 2012

March 16th (Holborough marsh)

Overcast,rather chilly,SW.(1.pm-2.30pm)
Two Kingfishers that I flushed from the dyke that runs partway around the Southern Field,a Lesser Black-backed Gull that flew inland along the river and a Chiffchaff that I saw on the edge of the hawthorn scrub were new birds for the month ( Holborough marsh) now making (60).
Other birds of note that I saw this afternoon were (2) Bullfinch in the hawthorn scrub (1) Curlew along the river (1) Little Egret and and (6) Gadwall on the scrape.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

March 14th (Holborough marsh)

Dull and overcast to start,brighter by the afternoon,although it remained chilly (8am-10am).

Goldcrest (1) Stock Dove (1) Common Sandpiper (3) Oystercatcher (2) Great Spotted Woodpecker (1) and Pied Wagtail (1) were all added to the months list this morning.Now making (57) species (Holborough marsh).
Four Lapwing were in display flight over the Southern Field/Sweet Corn Fields (4) Shoveler were on the scrape,along with the usual Teal,Mallard and Snipe (1) Bearded Tit was seen in the reed bed (2) Little Egret were present and (4) Cetti`s Warblers heard.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

March 13th (Isles of Sheppey)

On a cold and overcast day four us ventured out to Isles of Sheppey,we saw (65) species

Muswell Manor (RSPB) fields.
BIRDS OF NOTE Lapland Bunting (20) Ringtail Harrier (2) Marsh Harrier (3) Sparrowhawk (1) White-fronted Goose (7) Kestral (2) Corn Bunting (1) and Golden Plover (4)

Capel Fleet/Raptor Watch Point.
Marsh Harrier (4) Peregrine (1) White-fronted Goose (50) EGYPTIAN GOOSE (1) ( this bird was a new Sheppey record for all of us) Pintail (3) and Corn Bunting (6).

Marsh Harrier (3) Ringtail Harrier (1) Red-breasted Merganser (2) Avocet (2) Black-tailed Godwit,Bartail Godwit, Turnstone,Dunlin,Knot,Grey Plover and (2) Kingfisher.

Monday, 12 March 2012

March 12th (Holborough marsh)

I walked around Holborough with Jeanette between 1300-1415.Although it was very quite,with only about twenty species being noted,it included three goodies.
A BITTERN (49) flew up from the edge of the reed bed and flew towards the river, a female STONECHAT (50) was seen and a little later a pair of PINTAIL (51) flew down the river towards Halling.
The mixed Thrush flock appears now to have moved on.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

March 11th (Holborough marsh)

A nice spring-like morning,surely I would hear the first Chiffchaff,but it wasn`t to be.

The Little Egret was still present,as mobile as ever,first being seen in the Southern Field and then later in the Northern.Five Shelduck (4) Redshank (8) Mallard (6) Teal (2) Greylag and (1) CURLEW (46) were seen along the river and in the reed bed (3) Bearded Tit (4) Water Rail (8) Reed Buntings and (3) Cetti`s Warblers (47) were either heard or seen.Three BULLFINCH (48) showed briefly on the edge of the Hawthorn scrub and Gadwall (4) Shoveler (2) Teal (25+) Greylag (2) and Snipe (6) were seen in the Southern field.

At the northern edge of the reserve I spent a marvellous ten minutes watching a displaying pair of Common Buzzards,before they slowly drifted north towards Halling.

Friday, 9 March 2012

March 9th (Holborough)

I thought I would have another walk around Holborough marsh this morning.There was not a lot of change from yesterday but I did however relocate the mixed Thrush flock,Lapwing had increased to (6) in the Southern Field and I added L T Tit (46) to my March list (Holborough marsh).

Thursday, 8 March 2012

March 8th (Holborough)

Brighter today with a touch of early morning frost (river low).

The Little Egret was seen again in the Southern Field along with the usual small numbers of Mallard and Teal.Along the river Shelduck and Redshank had increased to (5) and (4) respectively, a lone Reed Bunting gave a short burst of song from the reed bed,while overhead (2) CANADA GEESE (43) passed over low towards Halling and a little while later a BUZZARD (44) was heard but not seen.
On the scrape there was now (5) Gadwall and (4) Shoveler,but not the hoped for Garganey, but perhaps it is a little early at the moment (wishful thinking),only (1) Lapwing was seen.There was no sign of the mixed Thrush flock in the (sweet corn/cereal field) but I did see (2) COLLARED DOVES (45).

During the visit I must have seen at least (30) Moorhens,although this is not unusual during the winter months,I have recorded (60) or more in the past.

During the afternoon I caught two Reed Buntings in the garden.One was a re trap ringed in the garden on the 17 01 2011.

Monday, 5 March 2012

March 5th (Holborough Marsh)

During the morning I walked around Holborough marsh.Although it was better than forecast,there was a cold northerly blowing which kept the smaller birds low.

Along the river I saw (3) Shelduck (8) Teal (6) Mallard (30+) Black-headed Gulls (2) G B B Gulls (6) Herring (2) Common Gulls (3) Moorhen (2) Coot and (1) Redshank.A Little Egret,which later flew over to the scrape,was feeding in the southern field along with (1) Heron (4) teal (3) Mallard and (3) Pheasant.A Water Rail called from the reed bed,where I was lucky,what with the strong wind blowing to have a fleeting glimpse of a BEARDED TIT.In the Northern field which is looking nice and wet at the moment there was (25) Teal (4) Gadwall (2) Shoveler (2) Snipe (1) Heron (8) Moorhen (2) Lapwing and (4) Pheasant.
A field which in the past has been used for growing arables held a mixed feeding flock of at least (150) Fieldfare and Redwing.

BIRDS WHICH I SAW OR HEARD Cormorant Grey Heron Mute Swan Greylag Shelduck Mallard Teal Shoveler Gadwall G B BGull Herring Gull Common Gull B H Gull Water Rail Coot Moorhen Robin Blackbird Song Thrush Redwing Fieldfare Jay Carrion Crow Jackdaw Little Egret Blue Tit Great Tit Bearded Tit Dunnock Chaffinch Goldfinch Greenfinch Wren Reed Bunting Lapwing Redshank Common Snipe Pheasant Kestral Green Woodpecker Starling Wood pigeon (42)

Thursday, 1 March 2012

March 1st (Hooded Merganser)

I went to whitsted gravel pits (East Peckham) this morning with Bob Bland to see the female Hooded Merganser.I hadn`t realized just how small they are.
Walking out across the farm to where the gravel pits are it was nice to see that a lot of stubble remained in the fields.This had attracted good numbers of Linnets,Goldfinch,Chaffinch and Skylarks ,at least fifty Fieldfare were also seen.

On the way back we called in at the Trout Lake,Leybourne.Bob had seen a duck on there a few days ago which he thought might have been a Scaup x Tufted Duck hybrid.However it must have moved on because all we saw on there this morning was three Tufted and the immature male Goldeneye.